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Army expects Next Generation Squad Weapon to get to its first unit by next year

PENTAGON, Arlington, Virginia – For the first time in 65 years, the Army has changed its individual rifle, squad machine gun, optic and caliber of both weapons at the same time.

The Army announced Tuesday that it selected Sig Sauer to manufacture and deliver a 6.8 mm Next Generation Squad Weapon to replace the M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, which both fire the 5.56 mm round.

At a Wednesday media briefing, two Army brigadier generals and a colonel answered questions about the selection, the weapon, the ammunition and the fielding process.

The first batch of NGSW rifles and automatic rifles, along with their high-tech fire control optic, are scheduled … (read more)


Army Charts New Path for Air and Missile Defense (

To counter new and evolving weapons on the battlefield, the Army has created a new roadmap aimed at beefing up its air-and-missile defense force.

The document — released in March — outlines the service’s vision for its systems and soldiers from now through 2028 to help prepare it for multi-domain operations. The last time the Army released such a blueprint was about four years ago, Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, told reporters.

“The operational environment has definitely changed and become more complex,” he said. Additionally, there is “more of a great power competition,” he noted at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

In support of the 2018 national defense strategy, the Army must have air-and-missile defense forces that can … (read more)


U.S. Army seeks to find mission command concepts for operating Soldiers and robots as effective teams (

The U.S. Army Futures Command is developing new mission command concepts that will enable Soldiers and robots to operate as effective teams in the future, according to Daniel Lafontaine.

Mission command is the Army’s philosophy of command and a warfighting function that promotes freedom and speed of action. It combines the centralized intent from the commander with the decentralized execution of subordinate commanders, who then decide how best to achieve the commander’s objectives.

In executing mission command, commanders must have a broad perspective, understanding and knowledge of activities throughout the operational area. Commanders, while clearly relaying their intent, must also trust their teams to … (read more)


All of the Crazy New Gear the U.S. Army Wants to Smash the Enemy (

In 2014, having withdrawn from Iraq and looking to end its official combat mission in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army started to assess the impact of more than a decade of almost exclusively fighting insurgents and terrorists. In that time, it had trained its troops primarily for that mission and bought gear specifically for those nebulous conflicts.

But the world seemed to be getting more complicated and troops would need new weapons and gear to help deal with these threats. So, the ground combat branch went … (read more)


Major upgrades are on the way for the Army’s missiles, tanks and artillery (

The Army has kicked off the new year with upgrades in protection and firepower for its tanks, artillery and ground combat vehicles.

For the armor set, officials announced this month upgrades to an additional 174 Abrams tanks, putting them in line for the System Enhancement Package Version 3 for the M1A2 tank.

That package includes upgraded communications, reliability, sustainment, fuel efficiency and improved armor, according to General Dynamics Land Systems, the company that received the $714 million delivery order.

The communications upgrades integrate the joint tactical radio system … (read more)


The Army Is Slowly Building a New Way to Wage War (

The Army is evaluating a series of emerging intelligence analysis technologies intended to integrate and organize a range of input sources to include drone videos, satellite imagery, enemy movement information, terrain data and crucial elements of battle planning.

Part of the initiative is aimed at leveraging the most advanced computer processing speeds, data analysis and technologies designed to synthesize information from otherwise disparate nodes. Bringing this to fruition, Army developers explained, requires extensive exploration of cutting-edge commercial technologies which can quickly be applied to military systems.

One system being evaluated, Raytheon’s FoxTen, uses commercially-developed software to … (read more)


Army Anti-Aircraft Stryker Can Kill Tanks Too (

With its eyes firmly on Russia, the US Army is racing to field 8×8 Strykers with an array of weapons that can down enemy aircraft — from drones to helicopters to jets — and incidentally make enemy tanks think twice. The first prototypes will be delivered next year, with up to 144 (four battalions) by 2022, although the contract details are still being negotiated. …(read more)


How the Army is virtually prepping for real cyberattacks (

Deep in the heart of Texas, attackers closed in on banks. They swarmed hospitals. Wearing combat boots and camouflage uniforms, soldiers mounted a defense. But instead of being crouched behind buildings, the troops were hunched over keyboards.

It was in this digital battlefield where Army and Air Force soldiers participated in a training exercise to defend critical infrastructure from crippling … (read more)